The Best of Whose Line Is It Anyway Lives Up to Its Name

Best Whose Line Is It Anyway Lives Up Its Name

As a lifelong fan of stand-up comedy, I was instantly drawn to the American broadcasts of the classic British improvisational comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? Built upon the notion that the contestants -- a rotating gang of stand-up comedians -- would play a series of games, the parts of which would be generated by audience members both before the show and during, the comedy was always spontaneous, fresh, and never forced. Even when the comedians failed, they did so entertainingly. When that show finally ran its course (after 10 seasons/136 episodes) it came to the attention of Drew Carey , who convinced ABC to pick it up and the rest is history.

Carey's version of Whose Line aired for six seasons. This DVD is a collection of some of the comedians' favorite episodes and features a lot of unedited content. This uncensored disc includes the occasional swear word and a number of risque jokes and moments that weren't quite up to the censor's standards. While this certainly isn't a collection of the very best of the series, since such notable episodes as the Robin Williams extravaganza and the Whoopie Goldberg episode were left off (both of which were top-notch fantastic and are probably slated for their own release), this does sport a number of classic and infamous episodes.

Notably present are a handful of the best guest star episodes, the ones in which a celebrity becomes the center of the games but not one of the four contestants. These range from the delightfully campy David Hasselhoff episode, the childhood-damaging Florence Henderson (who seems obsessed with trying to nail a Whose Line cast member for laughs) episode, and the jaw-dropping and occasionally hilarious Richard Simmons (who seems to be trying to do the same as Florence Henderson) episode. The guest star episodes are pretty much the icing on the cake, but are each flanked by a number of episodes that are classic in their own right, chosen because of the killer material that was cut.

Rounding out the collection is the one hour (TV hour, so 42-minute) special that includes some of comedians' favorite moments and a few moments that they were allowed to 'un-censor' because of the success of the show (however that works). This episode is brisk and a lot of fun and rounds out a fun disc altogether. This is one of those discs that I popped in late one night and my wife kept staving off sleep saying, time and again, just one more ... one more episode and then we'll sleep. We finished the disc. Who needs sleep, right? Especially when you've got laughs this big. A great show distilled into a few perfect episodes, this one is a must for fans or anyone who enjoys good improvisational comedy.

The Best of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Uncensored is available now from Warner Home Video.